United States Military Academy
An applicant must obtain a nomination to be considered for an appointment to the academy. The sources of nomination are the President of the United States; the Vice President; U.S. Senators and Representatives; and the representatives of the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. Special appointment categories include children of deceased and disabled veterans or of career military personnel, foreign students, regular U.S. army, U.S. army reserve, honor graduates of military and naval schools and ROTC, and children of Medal of Honor recipients. Candidates must be between the ages of 17 and 22 and must meet physical and educational qualifications.
Cadets undergo a four-year course of instruction on full scholarship, with summers devoted to practical military training, and are paid a monthly salary. Graduating cadets receive a bachelor's degree and a commission as a second lieutenant. Women have been admitted since 1975 and, in the 1990s, they constituted more than 10% of the academy's 4,000 cadets. The West Point Museum contains ordnance and military trophies of historical interest. It is one of the most important college museums in the United States. George W. Cullum compiled a valuable biographical register of West Point cadets.
See T. J. Fleming, West Point (1969); J. Ellis and R. Moore, School for Soldiers (1974).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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